FINALLY!! Young Justice is back and I couldn’t be more excited! Granted, technically it returned the previous week with episode 10 but as most fans know, that episode had been leaked online for months.
I deeply apologize for the lateness of this review and will get a lock on my timescale shortly. But now, down to business.
The episode opens with another news report from Cat Grant focusing on a fight between The Terrors, twin super-powered brother and sister, and Martian Manhunter and Superman. As the two League veterans send the villains smashing through a warehouse roof, Aqualad and other members of the League ambush the twins, place power sealing collars on them and then proceeding to replace them with Miss Martian and Superboy.
The two Team members are being sent undercover into Belle Reve, a prison built for supercriminals. The strange coincidence of 4 ice villains attacking on the same day (first episode) has not been lost to the League and the fact that they will all end up in the same prison makes them very suspicious. They don’t know what the plans are but it’s up to Megan and Conner to figure it out.
Turns out head prisoner Icicle Sr has planned to break out every single prisoner and needs the help of the other ice villains to do so. Along with Killer Frost, Icicle Jr, Captain Cold and Mr. Freeze he plans to pull off what was thought to be impossible. Of course the Team stops the plan from happening thanks to some quick thinking by Superboy of all people, but some new revelations make this a great set up episode.
This was an interesting episode to be sure. This is the first time we see the Team being used in such a strategic way. We know they were enlisted to act as a covert op force for the League but up until now it’s been a few covert missions or protection jobs but nothing this complex. Surprisingly, it worked really well because it showed how versatile and necessary the Team is to the League.
Now, honestly, out of all the members picked to be part of an undercover mission Superboy would not have been my first choice. However, that’s where this episode really shines. We get some great character development here for Conner and Megan. Conner still feels a lot of anger toward Superman for ignoring him and also longs for a father figure. He even seemed a bit jealous of Jr’s relationship with Icicle Sr. More interestingly though was him having to rely on his wits to make the mission a success. Thus far he’s simply been the brawn of the bunch and hasn’t really had to think his way out of any problems. But with his superstrength neutralized and a cover to keep, Conner was forced to outthink a whole group of villains plus act his butt off (complete with southern accent).
Even with everything else going on in this episode, after the first viewing the lasting impression it left on me was: Miss Martian wasn’t annoying in this one. No “Helloo Megan”. No fawning over Conner. No stupid mistakes. Just efficient, driven, focused superheroism like she should be. From here on out that’s how the writers need to portray her as. Sure it’s ok for her to be a little naïve and innocent. That’s great. But the audience shouldn’t hate her and loathe her involvement in a story. During her and Superboy’s counseling session it becomes clear that she does actually understand why he’s angry and how relationships work on Earth. It was a great way of showing she cared for him without actually drooling over him. The two having to play out their care for each other through the guise of their covers actually worked better. In fact it seems that Superboy is finally able to come to terms with his attraction to Megan after he realizes that she gets him and likes him regardless of his problems (something Icicle Jr alludes to earlier in the episode).
All in all it’s a really good episode and does a great job of showing the Team in a new light as well as a great look at the plethora of villains introduced thus far. Even though I abhorred the hiatus this episode does a great job of setting up the second half of season 1.
• Love the opening with the news broadcast. Such a cool way to add realism and the little things like the sound from far away and the focus going in and out really set this show apart.
• Good to see the JL being proactive to stopping a possible threat instead of seeming not to notice obvious discrepancies. Something that heroes do all too often on shows such as this.
o Introduction of Amanda Waller and Hugo Strange!!
o I hope for more Killer Frost
o Amazing to see how many villains from earlier episodes are in this episode. Quite impressive considering the show’s short run.
o RIddler! He’ll be important later
o Funny how Ojo kept getting knocked out by Conner
o Freeze voicing his panic after his shield is cracked was hilarious.
• I’m not sure Icicle Sr.’s purpose for wanting to bust out every con. Usually a villain doesn’t want the competition although he seems to have a deal with
• The news broadcast reinforces again the public familiarity with the League showing again how important the Team is.
• I have no clue how Megan broke out of the ice
• The kiss was sudden, unexpected, and a little creepy before Megan changed back. I’m still not really liking how much attention their relationship is getting.